Saturday, March 8, 2014
By KRISTIN DiCARA-McCLELLAN
Welcome to Maine. Land of seemingly endless rocky coasts, pines, long winters, gorgeously fast and furious summers, the seasonal ebb and flow of tourism and, well, home of his "highness," the king of Maine, Spose.
HOW IT RATES
SPOSE: "THE PETER SPARKER MIX TAPE"
3.5 STARS on a four-star scale
PRODUCED BY: Ryan Peters
Of course, it's tongue-and-cheek speak, as Spose is really Ryan Peters of Wells, who knows very well how to build his rapper identity, shape his image and use it to his advantage.
Spose's new 12-song CD, "The Peter Sparker Mix Tape," (to be released June 10) is maybe a bit less about trying to please the masses and more about relating to his true fans -- the people who hear him when he raps about being broke and "Starving," back when his "bank account was zero even if you round up" ("Still Bimpin").
Other songs are deeper. Even with a title like "The People's Douche," that song is dripping in irony on the state of the economy, social conditioning and staying true to yourself.
With the exception of "The King of Maine," there is a pretty stark contrast in the overall punch and attitude in the beginning of this CD as opposed to the latter half of the album. It's almost as if Mr. Sparker had to get a few things off his chest before he could get back to the business of firing up the crowd for the good times.
Whether this was intentional or not is hard to say. But one thing is for sure: By the time the last few notes of the final track, "Bob Johnson," came ringing through the speakers, I caught myself hitting "play" again just to see what it was I had missed the first time around.
"In Your Dreams" immediately fires up with an energy not found in most of the rest of the CD. The infectious beats and intense, eager rapping instantly grabbed me, as if a contact buzz from all the cannabis references had kicked in and I was hooked.
I dare you to press the "next" button once that song is moving along with its catchy chorus, deep and infectious bass line, and an awesome mic exchange between Spose and featured artist Chris Webby. This is the perfect seacoast cruisin', top-rolled-down, summer single of the year.
Spose's hard work has paid off with "The Peter Sparker Mix Tape." He has proved he is as real as he is ironic, as funny as he is talented, and as hopeful as he is beaten up. This is the unfeigned and bona fide Ryan Peters.
Kristin DiCara-McClellan is a freelance writer.